Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Step Away For One Second....

See what happens when I take a week off in between posts? A pitiful 6-3 loss to Vancouver, a troublesome 4-1 beating by the hands of Ottawa, followed by a decisive 4-1 win over Phoenix. You'll be rest assured knowing I'll be posting every hour on the hour if it means the Rangers play well.

Quick Hits...

- This Scott Gomez guy is pretty good, eh? I think Valeri Kamensky might have a say in that... Scott Gomez was more than good for the Blueshirts Mon. night, he was EXACTLY what the team needed and it showed. Logged the most ice-time by forwards, 19 of 23 on draws (17-1 at one point). As I'm saying this, Jim Ramsay is reading a book on the magical healing powers of exotic plants & ankle injuries. He borrowed it from Terrell Owens.

- Nice to see Brandon Dubinsky bounce back after a month-long decline in play and a lengthy 14-game goal drought. On my radio show last Thursday, I hinted at how concerning his poor play was and it seemed, to me, that he was tuning our Tom Renney a bit. Not by choice, however, but by sheer frustration at his own play. Nothing like a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, and a fight) to rejuvenate your game, right Brandon??

Rangers will hope to contain the Lightning in a bottle known as their top 5 ranked D tonight as they square off with Tampa Bay in their final match-up of the year. It's not even December and the Rangers are finished with Tampa Bay. I wish we could say the Rangers were finished with tougher teams like Buffalo but I'd be pushing my luck too much.

Until next time...


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Familair Faces in Familiar Places...

Markus Naslund, step right up its your turn to face your former team mates tonight. Do you think there's an added incentive for Naslund tonight to stick it to the organization that blasted him in the papers towards the end of last season and subsequently forced him out of Vancouver? I think so and I hope the soft-spoken Swede goes out and has a hell of a game. Once again, the Rangers get the luck of the draw and face the 4th best Vancouver D in the NHL, thanks largely to the human brick wall Roberto Luongo.

Quick hits...

- Wonder if Zherdev and Voros, benched for periods of time in the 3rd period of Monday night's game, got Tom Renney's message? Tonight is their chance to get back on the saddle. Voros I'm not too worried about. He seems to have a head on his shoulders and plays a team game. Having said that, he needs to maintain the level he had at the beginning of the season for the rest of the season otherwise other players (Sjostrom is knocking on the door) will move up. On the other hand, Zherdev is the one to worry about, considering his past of laziness, moodiness, and sulking.

- Scott Gomez will be out again from tonight's game with a faulty ankle. The Rangers are 3-0 with him out of the line-up. So, there isnt a rush to bring him back, but you'd like to have him back soon. Scott, we all miss your gorgeous end to end rushes.

Until next time...


Monday, November 17, 2008

Rangers can Sens a challenge...

- Ottawa invades the Garden tonight at 7pm. Despite being 6-9-2 in the early going, the Senators don't give up much offensively(2.59 GAA, 3rd in the East behind NYR although far behind 2.15 GAA), sport the 10th best PP and 7th best PK in the East. Keeping them out of the box will be essential for a Rangers win; Sens have had trouble scoring 5-on-5. Plus Ottawa has won the last 5 games at MSG, 15 0f 20 overall (courtesy of Kukla's Korner).

- And of importance, Wade Redden gets a chance of redemption against his former team of whom he played 11 season for tonight as well. Think he'll be pumped for the game tonight-coming off arguable his most complete game of the season? Next in line to stick it to their former team? Markus Naslund on Wed. when the Nucks' come in.

Until next time...



The New York Football Giants pummeled the Baltimore Ravens yesterday 30-10 to improve to 9-1 on the season. The defending champions cannot go unnoticed any longer and must be considered the best team, not only in the NFC, but the entire league. I understand the Titans are undefeated at 10-0, but the way the Giants have just completely dominated some of their opponents this year has been the edge I would give to the G-Men. The Giants roll out a 3-headed monster at the RB position; what team can say that in the league and be productive? Their D suffocates the life out of the other teams' offense and constantly bring pressure to the QB. Last year they didn't receive any respect, this year they're not giving any hope.

More later...


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pick a Door...Any Door

The title describe what you can expect on any given night with the Rangers; leaving everything up to chance rather than making your own destiny. Last night's game against the Devils showed the polar extremes of the Rangers so far this year.

During most of the 1st period they were sluggish and uninspired (Dubinsky's altercation with Parise not withstanding). This patterns has gone on through most of the early season. But, once the 2nd period came around, like a flick of the switch, your boys in blue began to aggressively pursue the Devils and completely overwhelmed them. It seems it takes the team an entire period before the next gear kicks in.

It's still early to tell what type of team the Rangers will be and where they'll end up in the standings. We know they have the potential to be a good team but we all know how reliable potential can be (I'm talking to you Pavel Brendl).

Until next time...


Monday, November 10, 2008

Consistently Inconsistent

In the early going the Rangers have played a season that resembles more the ride Kingda Ka than anything close to even-keeled play. Prime examples are their last 2 games; a 5-2 drubbing of Tampa Bay (although King Hank was the difference maker in that game which could have easily been a much closer) followed by a let-down in D.C. against The Capitals. The team has created a Jekyll and Hyde effect; some games playing with tenacity and fire; aggressive to the puck and other games laid-back, being beaten to pucks, and an unwillingness to get their hands dirty. Tom Renney's top priority will be to discover the medium between the 2 extremes and quickly; it is his job after all.

Some quick hits...

- Explain to me where in the NHL rule books it states players are allowed free runs at the goaltenders with no consequence. Alexander Semin's collision into Lundqvist during Saturday night's game was not called when replays show Semin make no attempt to avoid the collision. The game was chock full of missed calls (Caps second goal came with the net definitively off its moorings, a no-no) and shoddy officiating. The highlight was Lundqvist skating all the way to center ice to argue with the refs... classic.

- In following with Washington's penchant for taking liberties on Saturday, no Rangers player felt the need to stick up for their goaltender? A taste of ungratefulness if you ask me, considering Henrik Lundqvist, not the defense, is the main reason why the Rangers have won games this year.

- I honestly feel for Petr Prucha. It must kill him inside to try so hard and not be rewarded then punished for his lack of production. The best solution for him is to GET OUT OF NY and on to another team to play quality minutes. A change of scenery; where have we heard that idea before? hmm...

Next game is tonight vs Edmonton 7pm

Until next time...


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Injuries are part of the game....

The Devils were dealt a devastating blow today with news of Marty Broduer having a torn tendon in his elbow and requiring surgery that will sideline him 3-4 months. This is uncharted waters for Broduer; he's never missed more than 5 games at one time in his 16 year career. The Devils have a massive hole to fill in his absence. The question is whether they try to internally or go outside for help (Jocelyn Thibault is a UFA, and there's a log-jam of goalies in Chicago last time I checked.)

Update 11/7/08:

Upon further research, I realized I forgot to add one piece of crucial information regarding the Devils and the possibility of acquiring Khabibulin or another goalie to fill Brodeur's spot. As per the CBA, since Brodeur is on long-term IR and his 5.2 mil salary will not count against the cap, giving the Devs a chance to acquire a goalie should Kevin Weekes prove not capable.

Until next time....


Monday, November 3, 2008

Dawes vs. Prucha; The Battle for Mediocrity

A lot has been said for Petr Prucha's banishment to the press box and Dawes' continued play of periods of invisibility on the ice and Tom Renney's insistence on the latter, not the former. Aside from a 3rd period flurry Thursday night against Atlanta, Dawes hasn't done much offensively or defensively to merit more playing time. On the other hand, when Prucha's been in the line-up he's provided energy and hustle (his trademarks). But, he's failed to bury any of the scoring chances he has created from his spirited play (his trademark). If Tom Renney wants to send the correct messages to his young kids, sit Dawes to clear his head and give Prucha an honest chance. Plus, if you're still trying to showcase Prucha and his 1.6 mil contract for a trade, he needs to play, correct?

Quick hits....

- Normally I take anything I read from Larry Brooks with a grain of salt, except for today's article at I agree with him that Gomez' talents, which netted him his big pay-day, are not being used properly. Not to discredit the job Callahan has done so far this year on Gomez' wing but his ceiling looks to be a 3rd line gritty, checking winger with a touch of offenseive ability. In my earlier posts, I've mentioned Gomez should be playing along side more talented wingers (Naslund and/or Zherdev sound good to me). If the Rangers continue to struggle offensively, especially the always outstanding 26th ranked PP, the question needs to be asked if he should be moved off of what looks likes a 3rd line and to the spot he was brought in to play, the 1st line.

Until next time....