Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Presuming Valiquette gets through the entire game, that will leave a rested Lundqvist to play tomorrow night in the Garden, when his tired teammates might need a big effort from him against the recently-impressive Montreal Canadiens. Renney also did not rule out Lundqvist playing in all three games on the Western Canada trip that begins Jan. 2 in Calgary."
Can he find his game again? A better question is whether or not he'll have the chance to do it in a Canadiens sweater. At $2.95 million and due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, teams won't be lining up to trade for him. On the other hand, there's always somebody out there who feels he can press the right button with a 30-goal scorer.
Friday, December 28, 2007
That hope lies ultimately with the players, who are certainly good enough to make a run to the top of the standings. But behind the Blueshirts stands their motivational, well-spoken coach, Tom Renney..."
Thursday, December 27, 2007
...here is video on Colton Orr's hit on Matt Cullen last night for anyone who missed it or wants to see it again.
...even the next day this check still looks legal.
...I think this hit sends a message to the rest of the league along with the return of Avery that the Rangers are going to be a much more physical team going forward.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Here is the latest from Sam Weinman at the Rangers Report...
"With the Rangers losers of seven of their last nine, the Sean Avery factor will again be put to the test tonight against the Eastern Conference-leading Senators.
The left wing, originally scheduled to return no sooner than the day after Christmas, said his wrist made significant progress in the last few days, and was deemed fit to play tonight against Ottawa.
'The bottom line is he can’t do any damage to it, he can’t hurt himself at all, so as long as it’s not prohibitive from a pain perspective, which it isn’t, (he’s fine),' Tom Renney said.
Avery’s impact on the Rangers when he’s in the lineup has been well documented, dating back to his arrival last season but also this year in between his shoulder and wrist injuries, when the Rangers went 8-3-1 and surged into first place. Now with the team again struggling, he’ll be counted on to provide an immediate lift.
Meanwhile, Renney originally said Petr Prucha would be a scratch to make room for Avery. But while Prucha was lingering on the ice after the morning skate, he was called off the ice by the coach, which could suggest the coach is contemplating putting him back in.In other news:
Paul Mara is the other healthy scratch tonight, which means Marek Malik goes back in, only now most likely alongside Jason Strudwick. With those two together, the Michal Rozsival-Marc Staal pairing remains intact.
Marcel Hossa has also been slow to recover from the flu, so he’s out as well. Nigel Dawes is still with the team, and assuming that Prucha remains a scratch, Dawes will probably skate on a third line with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. Renney said the first line and fourth line will definitely remain intact."
...I guess I ended up giving more of a preview then I intended. Oh well.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Ryan Hillier, LW - Junior Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) - In his fourth year with the Halifax Mooseheads, Ryan Hillier has become a scoring machine. Currently second on the team in points, Hillier has been successfully playing in all situations.
Tomas Zaborsky, LW - Junior Team: Saginaw Spirit (OHL) - the winger is third on the team in scoring and has been given greater responsibilities. Assistant coach Steve Cooke attributes the change in ice time and success to the fact that, "Zaborsky has worked hard on his strength and conditioning, and the improvement is noticeable. The result is that he is winning puck battles, and is quicker and stronger at the net."... Expect him to join the Hartford Wolf Pack this spring and be in his first Rangers training camp next fall.
David Skokan, C - Junior Team: Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) - Skokan has done well offensively thus far this season, however, he was drafted for his two-way skills, and he is struggling defensively. He has one of the worst plus/minus ratings on the team.
Danny Hobbs, RW - Junior Team: Ohio Jr Blue Jackets (USHL) - In his second season with the Junior Blue Jackets, Hobbs has put up respectable, but not exceptional numbers. Continued work on his two-way game and increased strength will be required for him to play the professional game.
Bob Sanguinetti, D - Junior Team: Brampton Battalion (OHL) - From the moment he arrived in Brampton after Rangers’ training camp this past fall, Sanguinetti was a more confident, knowledgeable player. He began to put up big numbers almost immediately, and in mid-November, the blueliner was named OHL Player of the Week. Although he is expected to play with the Wolf Pack next season, Sanguinetti has an outside chance at an NHL defensive roster spot next fall. Currently, Sanguinetti is a member of the team that will represent the United States in the IIHF U20 World Junior Championships
Antoine LaFleur, G - Junior Team: PEI Rocket (QMJHL) - The Rangers were impressed with LaFleur’s regular season 2006-07 statistics (27-19; 2.97; .909). LaFleur did not play as well in the playoffs, and has continued his lackluster play to begin this season. LaFleur is currently sharing the netminding duties with rookie Marc-Antoine Gelinas.
...looks to me that Hillier, Zaborsky and Sanguinetti are the guys we're most likely to see on the Rangers out of this group.
This one from HockeyBuzz mentions the Rangers needs for d and grit...
"NY Rangers: They will go and get their d-man, but they will also be looking for a Raffi Torres type of player..."
...I don't think this is much of a rumor as you would assume that the Rangers are in the market for a defenseman. Its a good thing the report doesn't say the Rangers are looking at Raffi Torres as he is out 3-4 weeks with a sprained ACL.
Another rumor from HockeyBuzz involves Jagr...
"There are people in the Rangers organization who are starting to question some of the 'choices being made based around #68.' One person I talked to today reiterated what I was told by a source "not as close to the scene." He said, 'There comes a point when you start to ask yourself, 'How far do we go to make a single player comfortable.'
The team that is most often linked to Jagr is Edmonton, although I have also heard the Penguins would make a serious pitch..."
...I don't believe any of this Jagr trade talk, but I can see how people in the Rangers organization could be getting fed up with him as he has seemed lost lately. Jagr hasn't scored in 9 games and now other parts of his game are suffering as well. As seen Thursday night when he was stripped of the puck by Demitra in the defensive end and then just stood there as Demitra fed Gaborik for his 1st of 5 goals on the night.
"10. Rangers-Capitals shootout lasts 15 rounds (Nov. 26, 2005) - You don't have to tell us the shootout era in the NHL has been a short one. But of the 364 played through Thursday, one stands alone as a rare moment … with an unpredictable finish. When the Rangers and Capitals faced off at Madison Square Garden, both clubs played 65 minutes of back-and-forth hockey before the real game began. Henrik Lundqvist and Olaf Kolzig faced shooter after shooter in the shootout. Then, Bryan Muir and Jason Strudwick both scored in the 14th round to keep the marathon going. (Bizarre considering the average NHL shootout has 6.8 shots.)
Finally, the 30th shooter, hulking defenseman Marek Malik, lumbered down the ice and shocked everyone with a through-the-legs dipsy-do that would have made even Wayne Gretzky blush. Malik, who has averaged a modest four goals per season during his 12-year NHL career, was the hero despite the fact that the Rangers only called on him after every forward and almost every defensemen already took shots. It was a highlight-reel goal, and truly a strange finish that has not been duplicated."
...I know most Rangers fans are not in love with Malik, but you have to admit that goal was pretty sick.
...if you want to re-live that Ranger memory, here you go...
Friday, December 21, 2007
According to ESPN.com, Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth are almost certain to miss tonight's game...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
"...After scoring four goals and playing outstanding defense against Pittsburgh, Rangers coach Tom Renney kept his reconfigured lines intact... 'I think we've got to let this go for a couple games. Coaches change their minds like we change our socks,' Renney said. 'You'd like to think we can get something going, get some momentum off these combinations, knowing we've got fallback positions. Knowing the people who are involved, this looks the best for us.'
So, LW Marcel Hossa, who has recovered from the flu, will be scratched for the third consecutive game..."
...this is great news. Good job coach. You're finally getting it.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
"Jagr’s take was that the Gomez who centered him tonight was a far more confident, significantly quicker Gomez than the guy with whom he could not connect through seven games in late October. Gomez didn’t want to go too deep into analysis after one game back with Jagr, but he did concede that he might have overthought their pairing the first time around, forcing the puck to the captain in his early-season attempt to be a good new teammate.
Then again, Gomez might have had it just right when he said the key to the success of the top line (three goals, two assists) against Pittsburgh in tonight’s 4-0 victory was the presence of Martin Straka on the left wing. Straka, of course was injured for five of the seven games Gomez played with Jagr in October."
...I like both players take on why their line was so successful last night. In the 9 games since Renney's pep talk with Gomez about shooting more, Gomez has 4 goals 6 assists. With teams now respecting Gomez' shooting prowess it should open up some scoring opportunities for Jagr.
...but I think Gomez said it best when he said that the key to their line is Straka. Jagr is lost without Straka. With those two paired with a play making center, I'm expecting much more offense from that line. Even more than when Nylander centered them last year.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Franchises represented were Pittsburgh, Florida, Ottawa, Columbus, Toronto, Detroit, Dallas, Boston, Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis and both New York teams, the Rangers and Islanders..."
#10 New York Rangers - What can the Rangers do with Jaromir Jagr? As long as he's in a funk -- and one assist and minus-7 in the last six games sure qualifies -- the Rangers aren't going anywhere.
...can you believe that TSN actually had this team ranked #2 only a few weeks ago.